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Apr 5, 2009

A late first half strike from Eto made sure that FC Barcelona gave up any momentum in the La Liga chase. FC Barcelona were made to work over time by a gritty Valladolid side and towards the second half looked in more trouble. This was no classic Barca performance but it is still a very valuable win. We always have a high chance to drop points after an international break but this time we kicked the habit. Guardiola as expected decided to omit his Latin American players - Messi and Alves from the starting line up. Henry was also given the rest. Valdes once again guarded the goal. Puyol was slotted in as the Right Back but had to play the left back role after Alves came in the second half. Marquez and Pique agains combined to form the centre of defense and Sylvinho took his loeft back position. The midfield was very defensive with Keita and Busquets playing along with Xavi. Iniesta, Eto and Pedro formed the attack line.

The game started slowly and Barca's first attack came in the 12th minute with Pedro forcing a save from Asenjo. In the 35th minute Eto took the ball to right and pulled the ball back to Xavi who shot high. Then in the 40th minute Eto put Barca ahead with a delicate chip over an advancing Asenjo's head. The move started with Eto passing the ball to Xavi and continuing with his run, Xavi then played a delightful chipped cross over defense to find Eto who chipped the ball over Asenjo's head. In the 42nd minute Iniesta produced a great dribble into the box, skipped past two defenders but his final curling shot did not had the power to beat Asenjo. Barca went to the lead with a goal lead and was hoping to dominate possession more in the second half. But Valladolid came after the break more determined and did force many silly passing mistakes from barca's midfield.

In the 50th minute Eto shot over from an Iniesta pass. But Valladolid was getting back to the match. In the 55th minute Valdes was tested for the first time. Then in the 58th minute Valdes made a decent save to deny Escudero who got past Puyol and Marquez with ease. In the 59th minute Guardiola took off Pedro and Sylvinho and brought in Messi and Alves. Puyol moved to the left. In the 67th minute Alves did well to clear danger from a dangerous cross from the left. In the 72st minute Keita heads wide from an excellent Alves cross. Then in the 75th minute Iniesta produced a great moment of magic. He grabbed the ball from a defenders leg and skips past defender to get into area but another defender stuck his foot and send the ball wide. In the 79th minute Alves looked as if he was going to send in a cross to centre instead shot staright into the goal; Asenjo did well to block but theball fell to Eto who despite reacting quickly couldn't direct it properly.

As I said earlier this victory is a very good one as we were able to shut the door firmly on Madrid. Now the entire concentration shifts to Munich clash. Bayern lost yesterday to VfL Wolfsburg by 5-1. There are many who think Iniesta should replace Henry on the left. It is a very good argument; but the truth simply is that without Iniesta our midfiedl doesn't dominate as much as we want. So for me he is more important in the midfield that up front.

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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